Budget criticism: New underclass likely to grow
Sweden's centre-right opposition Alliance has poured cold water on the government's optimistic economic outlook reflected in Tuesday's spring budget.
Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson boosted the Social Democrat-Green party coalition's growth forecast for the next two years. She highlighted an increasing surplus in public finances, even after they were in the red when entering government in 2014.
Surging growth and falling debt have left additional funds for welfare, jobs, and security, Andersson said.
But Ulf Kristersson, the economic spokesperson for the conservative Moderate Party, told parliament that the upturn in growth was thanks to luck rather than good management. He also cited that the government's goal of the lowest unemployment in the EU by 2020, is further away than ever.
"No one believes in the goal, no one. The unemployment target will not be reached," Kristersson said, while pointing to the lack of foreign-born people with employment and the growing divisions in the labour market.
The government's spring budget proposal will boost spending by SEK 3.1 billion, including SEK 700 million to the police and SEK 500 million to each the military, welfare, and schools.